I read a quote quite some time ago:
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body”.
~ Elizabeth Stone
We had Oliver when I first read this but I still didn’t get it. I mean, I got what the quote was saying but it really didn’t resonate with me. Not then.
But now I get it and I think about that quote almost constantly.
I have been back to work for over a week now (hence the blog silence). It’s fine: the work is fine, my co-workers are fine, the change to routine is still working itself out but is fine. When people ask me how I’m doing with the change, I think about that quote because it says it clearly: I am here at work every day, going through the motions, and yet I feel like my heart is somewhere else. Like the biggest part of me isn’t even with me.
I’ve done this before so I thought I knew what to expect when mat leave was over. I thought it would be easier. But it really isn’t.
There were a few days that Emery cried when we arrived at the sitter’s, once he realized that this was happening every day. But he was over that quickly and takes off before I even get Oliver undressed now.
And Oliver understands that mommy is back to work so his adjustment has been easy (he’s a little more amped up after supper but even that is ironing itself out). I try to gleam everything I can out of Oliver at the supper table – “So what did you do today? Did you go outside? Did you cry? Did Emery cry? Did you go in timeout? Did you nap?” – all so I feel a little more connected with their day, I suppose.
I miss them, even the squealing fits and the “NO!”s. I know they are in a good place and are with a good person that we trust implicitly but it does not (and will never) sit well with me that my boys are with someone else more waking hours of the week than they are with us. I know that’s the way most families do it now and that it’s a sign of the times and a product of a lifestyle that people seem to think they need to keep up with, but does that make it the best thing? I guess it’s a really important question for every family to mull over.
Raw honesty: As much as I would like to, sometimes I wonder if me being home would even be the best thing for my boys. There are days that I am impatient, that my temper gets the best of me, or that I’m just feeling unwell or lazy and can’t seem to find the energy to keep activities up all day. I know everyone (and every mother) has those days, they’re inevitable, but when I weigh it against a really structured day, social time with other kids, and a sitter with an even temperament who has 30 years of experience, does the simple fact that I’m their mother tip the scales? Most days I think so but it’s a difficult thing, to figure out what is best for everyone in the family.
For now I am here at work (although shirking my duties a bit to write this post). I send the e-mails, I complete the projects, I smile, and I go on. But my heart… it’s always wherever those two little boys are.